tv News Nation MSNBC January 28, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EST
hi, everyone. oi'm tamron hall. following breaking news. in about 30 minutes a bipartisan group of senators will lay out a framework for what could lead to comprehensive immigration reform by the end of this year. chuck schumer, john mccain, dick durbin, marco rubio and bob menendez will discuss the plan. we'll bring it to you live. our first read team notes this is the first time senator mccain signed on to a priority of president obama. he takes the vision on the road to las vegas. but within the last hour, white house press secretary jay carney confirmed the president would not unveil specific legislation. the plan unveiled today would be
the first major immigration overhaul proposal in six years but one border state democrat congressman castro of texas say that is the devil is in the details. >> we've got to make sure that those measurements, when we have determined that we have secured the border, that those measurements are objective. otherwise you will have fights down the road where folks are saying, well, wait a minute. let's not move on to the second phase of the bill because we have not first completed the first phase. >> besides border security, there's guest workers and employer verification and a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in this country. let's bring in the political panel, "the washington post" nia-malika henderson and latino contributor, raul reyes and
michael smerkonish. raul, if people doubt that elections have consequences, look at the issue of immigration reform and look back at the republican primary and the response of the audience regarding immigration reform during the debates, one would not thought to get here. >> and to get here so quickly, looking at immigration policies and attempts at reform, this is really unprecedented and people show up at the polls and shoet there are consequences. obviously, you know, many latinos following it and want it and democrats and even for the republicans this can be a positive step forward to stay relevant and competitive as a national party. >> speak to the speed at which this is all going. we know that the president and his advisers said this would be a major priority and saw that in a big interview right before the election. and expressing his
disappointment that more was not done on immigration reform but the rate of speed, does that speak to the fact that maybe in private quiet rooms republicans knew all along that this was a necessary step when you have 11 million people in this country who are undocumented? >> absolutely. that's right. if you talk to republicans privately, even when the 2012 election was in the heat of the battle, they all said that they needed to do something in terms of broadening the base of their party and a way to do that was immigration reform. a couple of things have happened over the last weeks to push this thing along. it can't be underestimated how effective the fact that se seanhannity is open to proposals. there's a massive shift among republicans to make this happen, but again, the fact it's happening so swiftly, president obama, candidate obama said it would be something to get done
in his first year. wasn't able to do it and now you have got mccain who, again, when he ran in 2008 wanted to back away from comprehensive immigration reform. the fact that he's there embracing it, a person like lindsey graham also, this is a big shift in the country and in the republican party. >> but michael, it is not all hand holding walking to the i guess end of the rainbow on this issue. and i say that because this op-ed, for example, which senator rubio and will be a part of this bipartisan group says we have a defacto amnesty. my hope is president obama will use the voice and influence to further this approach. however, if what he offers is a process for the undocumented that is more lenient and faster and unfair it won't bode well for reform. so senator rubio taking a critical stance of the president without the president actually laying out a plan and we know and you talk to folks on the radio all day, when you mention
the word amnesty that is one of those fire words that is going to get a certain portion of this country pretty angry. >> it's true. it's in a category with guns and global warming and -- >> it is a loaded word, it is loaded. >> you got it. listen. the stakes are high for senator rubio because the consensus is he has his eye on 2016 or 2020 and to play a role on a group like this, with senator mccain, is fraught with some peril. i like the fact they're both involved. i like the fact that proceeding the president, you have a bipartisan approach compared to the president coming forth and saying here's my plan and only supported by ds but the fly in the ointment might be how do you assure folks that we have reached a point of border security sufficient that they're now willing to jump on board with a path of amnesty for 11 million and you played a congressional sound bite and i think that's the critical issue.
>> that was castro of texas and, raul, that is his concern is that republicans or some on the right will try to tie up a program that would allow the people to be in this country eventually legally with some unobtainable plan for border security. >> right. that happened in the past, used it as conditions that can never be met. if you look back to 2007, the goals the republicans set at that time for immigration enforcement, we have met and surpassed nearly all of them. enforcement is at an all-time high and illegal immigration at net zero. hard to argue we have this out of control situation like we did before and -- >> we have people in this country -- >> right. >> -- who need a status. >> right. going back to what you mentioned of marco rubio, beyond ironic so against amnesty. this isn't amnesty. it is a planned of earned
citizenship. amnesty is what his family took advantage of through the special status of cuban refugees. >> part of ronald reagan's plan. >> the democrats need to sell it as earned citizenship. it is not amnesty. >> let's play for you what jay carney said on the plan we should hear in about 30 minutes from the bipartisan group. let me play it. >> the president welcomes the efforts by the bipartisan group in the senate to put forward principles on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. principles that mirror the president's blueprint. i'm not going to negotiate legisla legislative tactics from here. >> so does this mean the president will allow the lawmakers to take the lead, especially when you look at this graphic of people involved from john mccain to lindsey graham and of course chuck schumer just
to name two of the people there that the president will let these men work out the deal? >> i think that's right and this has been typical of this president. he has often let congress take the lead on things and in some ways folks on the hill frustrated with the sort of ceding that to the hill but it makes sense because what we have seen i think a lot of times for the president puts his stamp on something, they are often very reluctant to go along. having this bipartisan group shape the legislation is i think a smart move. >> it's different than the executive move coming to young people in the country through no fault of their own who wanted a path to sap. he did not wait on lawmakers. that was before the election and before the big aha moment you need latino voters in the states to win especially california and texas which we'll talk about later in the show and democrats
salivating at the thought to flip texas to one day in the near future a blue state. >> that's right. i mean, the reality is that latinos are making the difference in a lot of these states. nevada, out west. north carolina, south carolina. more immigrants there, latinos. there is this realization i think that republicans need to turn more to the party of reagan. reagan as you said legalized 3 million illegal immigrants in the mid-'80s and this is probably the language that republicans need to embrace as they try to sell it to their base. >> yeah. let me point out, michael, you have paul ryan on "meet the press" and extensive interview and praising marco rubio's immigration stance. >> i support earned legalization, not rewarding people for cut in line but fix
this problem. >> will he be an effective voice bringing over conservatives who may be still apprehensive or for that matter on the subject alone? michael, he did not have this bold view when it was perhaps needed during the election cycle. >> well, the only person that i remember broaching this subject in primary season was former house speaker newt gingrich at a time you will remember, tamron, he was briefly the front-runner and when he spoke out on this issue, there were cat calls from some of the base within the republican party, so maybe rubio is better suited for obvious reasons to be the standard bearer for a new approach. >> thank you all. we'll talk about this more with the president in nevada tomorrow. another breaking story we are following, this came down also about 20 minutes ago with the boy scouts of america and the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. nbc's justice correspondent pete
williams joins me now and i understand the boy scouts released a statement? >> they have. what we have learned is that the boy scouts are actively considering changing their decades' old policy that prevents gay scouts or gay scout leaders if joining the organization. what we're told is that this is under active consideration, the board of boy scouts of america will consider this next week and could vote on it and change the policy as early as next week. in response to the story, the boy scouts issued a statement and here's the key of what they say is how the policy would work. the chartered organizations they say that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and leaders consistent with their organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs. and it goes on to say the statement does that bsa, members and parents would be able to choose a local unit to meet the needs of their families. the boy scouts saying they would
eliminate from the membership requirements a ban on gay members and gay scout leaders and live it up to the individual organizations of scouting that really run the organization day-to-day to decide for themselves so it turns out a local troop accepts gay members and some do not and parents decide which ones to send their children to. the boy scouts say that this is a grass roots organization. the impetus for discussing this change has come from within. but at the same time, it's been public some members of the board pushing for a change in policy. two corporate ceos, of at&t and earnst & young, both members of the board. one will be the new boy scouts of america president and they have been pushing for a change in this policy. so the boy skoutds emphasize that the change hasn't happened yet and could happen as early as
next week and if it does happen, it would not be a requirement but they would be able to and that in and of itself would be a profound change from an organization that resisted this change well over two decades. >> all right. pete williams, thank you. and the president and vice president just wrapped another big meeting on gun violence with police chiefs and sheriffs from around the country. many of them from cities where recent gun violence and massacres have taken place. this comes just days before a big senate hearing on gun violence. critics are saying that the hearing is stacked with more pro-gun witnesses than gun control witnesses. we'll take a look at that allegation. plus, president obama holds a first joint media interview with someone other than the first lady. and it, of course, is with secretary hillary clinton. >> friendships involve a sense of trust and being in the
foxhole together and that emerged during the course of the months making very tough decisions. >> so the big question -- did the interview set the stage for a potential clinton run 2016? what do you think was the motive of that big interview? you can join our conversation on twitter. let us know your thoughts on the motive of the interview. [ male announcer ] there's a story behind the silver of philadelphia cream cheese. it always begins with fresh, local milk, blended with real wholesome cream. going fresh from the farm, to our fridge, in just six days. because we believe in fresh taste. that's the way we set the standard for intensely rich, luscious flavor. so our story of fresh taste always ends... deliciously. when it comes to taste, philadelphia sets the standard.
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understanding that, you know, sometimes doesn't even take words because we have similar views. >> that interview, of course, last night adding fuel to the fire of speculation surrounding a potential hillary clinton presidential run in 2016. the president said he requested the interview to publicly thank the secretary of state for job well done but our first read team writes, it's a reminder that vice president joe biden is not the heir apparent. if clinton decides to run for president four years from now. joining now, part of the team that wrote that, mark murray and nia-malika henderson is back for round two. let's play the reaction of the 2016 talk and tying it in to the inauguration. let's play it. >> you guys in the press are inkor ini incorrigible. you are talking about elections
from years from now. >> i'm out of politics and forbidden from hearing these questionings. >> i don't know if i enjoyed the more the president's comment or her laughter. mark, with that said for the people angry that we're talking about 2016, let's talk about the importance or significance of that interview and why the president and this is key here, he wanted and pursued this opportunity. >> it was to give thanks to hillary clinton. it is important to note that five years ago to this date, tamron, barack obama and hillary clinton were preparing for super tuesday. it was a contest that hillary clinton won some big states and barack obama emerged with more delegates. five years later, here they are on the same page and democratic party more unified than ever been and at least in decades and one of the reasons why is both people have been so loyal the each other. here's a very good relationship of hillary clinton and barack
obama and each benefited from each other over the past four years. >> i want to read the reviews. lauren ashburn says by obama sitting down with the secretary of state, it was clear he was launching an effort to buff her scuffed image before she resigns in the next couple of weeks. joan walsh said they broke no news and provided little insight on the foreign policy but there's a remarkable comfort and chemistry between them. what did you think while watching the interview s? >> that's right. no news was broken but president obama did himself a great favor nominating hillary clinton as secretary of state, insulating himself from any sort of primary challenge. also did her a great favor by insulating her from the politics of the last four years. joe biden, i think, is going to be in the center of a lot of the big political fights over the next year and going to see his approval ratings probably take a
beating. of course, playing kyoto say this isn't about 2016. what a fantastic launch for hillary clinton. should she decide to run. i think one of the things we have seen over the last elections is that the person who has some strong connection with a base who's a candidate almost drafted by the base does better. mitt romney didn't have that. john mccain didn't have that. i hazard to say i don't think biden has that either. any of the democrats i talked to always say clinton, clinton, clinton. it's time for a woman. i think this will be hillary clinton's big decision to make and my goodness, joe biden certainly can't be happy about that but i think this sort of speculation about biden, at least keeps sort of interest in obama's presidency. >> right. >> makes it more relevant going forward. >> and let's be real here. i mean, as african-americans celebrated having the first african-american president, nia-malika, i've talked to women
who want to see as secretary clinton said, 14 million chips in the glass ceiling, through her presence in running. >> that's right. and i think she would have that connection. you know, one of the connections that the democratic party faces is who can keep the obama coalition going and i think probably hillary clinton is more likely to be able to do that rather than biden. and i also just think that part of obama's legacy is whether or not he's going to be able to hand off the white house to another democrat in the way that reagan was able to do and i think he's probably smart thinking at 2016 and thinking who's the best person to hand this white house off to, who can really pull it off. >> right. mark, we have to point out and negligent not to talk about what's happening in egypt right now and more violence, more deaths. we'll have some live images coming up today. it was another awful day. these are live pictures right
now from tahrir square where we have seen more violence and the president tauted the successes of hillary clinton. these are the image that is are piercing through us in this region and in syria, jordan, as well. the list could certainly increase. >> i think the arab spring and how that turns out no one really knows. we won't have a verdict for 10 or 15 years. better to keep mubarak in place even though you would be kind of giving comfort to a dictator or was it better just to let democracy flourish? i think we'll find out later but looking at the tenure of president clinton and trying to deal with the things they inherited. the iraq war. the afghanistan war. managing several crises and might not have been any big imprints with foreign policy, what they tried to pursue like
having everlasting peace in the middle east, you end up seeing a perspective from both hillary clinton and barack obama where they were trying to put out a lot of fires around the world in a very, very messy world. thank you very much. great pleasure having you on for two segments today. programming note, this wednesday see andrea mitchell's interview with secretary of state hillary clinton. that's at 1:00 eastern time on "andrea mitchell reports" right before our hour. coming up -- >> a minority majority. >> a what? >> the minorities will be the majority. >> the minorities will be the majority. congresswoman nancy pelosi says in july hispanics will become the majority in her home state. how could the state's new minority majority impact the midterms and point the direction or the arrow to texas as well in this discussion. plus, we'll get the latest on the nightclub fire in brazil that's taken the lives of more
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look at the last election. look at the last election. we are losing dramatically the hispanic vote which we think should be ours for a variety of reasons. >> senator john mccain giving his take or opinion on republicans and why they're now seeing the light when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform and take a listen to nancy pelosi discussing california's new joint majority that could impact the 2014 midterms and of course elections beyond that. >> california in july will become a white minority state. that it's now 39% hispanic and
39% white. and as of july, they will pass us and we should let them pass us. >> yes. the minority majority state. >> a what? >> the minorities will be the majority. california has led the way. texas will follow. well, not follow. >> right. >> take its own path to changing the political dynamic in texas and that will make a big difference in our country. >> joining me now, alexander burns who wrote an article about the democrats having a strategy to turn texas blue based on the demographic changes in the state. good to see you. i loved seeing nancy pelosi on with bill maher especially because it came of your article. your article up before her appearance on my home state of texas which for so many people thought it would be unthinkable to see texas as a blue state in the near future but as you report the launch or the plan is under way. >> well, that's right, tamron. a couple senior staff from the
obama campaign have ecreated battleground texas and aimed at registering and gaen inching, mobilizing voters that represent these new demographic changes and trying to make texas more competitive in general elections than it is right now. democrats have been locked out of statewide offices there for about 15 years so this is an ambitious plan. it's an expensive plan but a sign of democratic confidence that's when where they're looking right now. >> factor it in, kuwaiting for a news conference to start featuring jahmeshia and a bipartisan group of senators who have come together for a comprehensive immigration reform. you heard john mccain in his old style maverick way say it's about votes and does it give republicans any credibility on this issue? is it likely latino voters forget the incendiary things said in recent memory and suddenly it's all washed and even, alex? >> tamron, what i think
republicans say is immigration reform is the beginning of that process. when they look at the electoral map for this year and projects in to the future, states like texas, arizona, already colorado and nevada look square for the party. when you look at the problems, immigration reform maybe gets them another look from latino voters and then do a better job republicans say of explaining the position of entitlement reform and deficits. >> some might say a better job in i don't want to say wrangling but a better balance of jan brewer standing behind the controversial immigration law signed in her state and then several members of the tea party who still are alive and well in the state of texas who may certainly not be on beard with anything that they in their minds deem as amnesty. >> it's one of the really ironies of the republican party they have done in some ways a better job of democrats
recruiting latino candidates for offices like -- they have a governor of new mexico, governor of arizona, mark rubio in florida. at the same time, the share of the latino vote just really continued to drop nationally. >> quickly back to texas, looking at numbers there, 44% white. 38% hispanic. by 2020, 24 electoral votes for texas and there's no doubt of the enormity of the state. its importance in whomever wins or shows up on the ballots for both sides. >> that's right and what democrats say is you look at the demographics and then how the state performs in federal elections and something out of whack there that almost any other state with 38% hispanic voters you expect it to be a solidly democratic state. >> all right. alex, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> thanks a lot. we're following breaking news of capitol hill about to hear from a bipartisan group of
senators. they have outlined a big plan for immigration reform. nbc's first read team points out this is the first time senator john mccain signed on to a top obama legislative priority since the president took office. is that a good sign? just a few days before the super bowl, the president weighs in on the football and head injuries. he answers the question if he would allow his own son to play the sport. how the president answered it is one of the things we thought you should know. find behind the scenes pics. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ]
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you'll get a bowl of queso welcome back. taking you now to the capitol where the bipartisan group of senators discussing the comprehensive immigration reform package they'd like to see. let's listen in to chuck schumer. >> we still have a long way to go but this bipartisan blueprint is a major breakfthrough. it's our hope these principles can be turned in to legislation by march and have a mark-up by chairman leahy's committee with the goal of passage out by late spring or summer. senator durbin and i spoke to the president yesterday to update him on this group's
progress and he couldn't be more pleased. he strongly supports this effort. the key to our compromise is to recognize that americans overwhelmingly oppose illegal immigration and support legal immigration. to this end, our framework contains four basic pillars. first, we create a tough but fair path to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently living in the united states that is contingent upon securing our borders. second, we reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the american economy and strengthen american families. third, we create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the future hires of unauthorized workers and lastly establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our workforce needs while
simultaneously protecting all workers. other bipartisan groups of senators have stood in the same spot before trumpeting similar proposals but we believe this will be the year congress finally gets it done. the politics on this issue have been turned upside down. for the first time ever, there's more political risk in opposing immigration reform than in supporting it. we believe we have a window of opportunity to act. but we will only succeed if the effort is bipartisan. by their presence today, my republican colleagues are making a significant statement about the need to fix our broken immigration system. we democrats are equally serious. we do not want immigration as a wedge issue. much rather we want a bipartisan bill that solves the problem and
becomes law. we recognize that in order to pass bipartisan legislation none of us can get everything we want. that's why our framework says we can address the status of people living here illegally while at the same time securing our borders and creating an immigration enforcement system that ensures we will not again confront another 11 million people coming here illegally. on day one of our bill, the people here without status who are not criminals or security risks will be able to live and work here legally. that will make it easier for them to learn english and integrate in to their communities without fear of deportation. but to prove to the american people that we're seriously -- that we are see you about permanently ending illegal immigration to the u.s. we say we'll never put the individuals on a path to citizenship until we have fully secured our borders and combatted the people
overstaying their legal visas. we are asking our colleagues in the senate and the house to join us in this difficult work. it is time to work together to pass legislation that improves our security, grows our economy and ensures that we will continue to be a nation that lives up to the values of our founders. i'm going to turn it over to senator mccain in a minute. he's been the glue in our group. his wisdom, his strength, his courage, his steadfastness and many other objectives i'll skip at the moment. have really been inspiring to me and i think to all of us. and i want to just say, want me to go on? and i want to say that every member of our group including senator graham who couldn't be here today, senator mccain has a statement from him, have really been terrific in terms of understanding that we have to come to an agreement. we have to meet in the middle.
that the mission of getting a bill done to strengthen america is more important than any of us clinging to a specific belief. and so, i'm optimistic. i'm truly optimistic, more than i was when we had our first meeting in december that we can get this done. and i really want to thank every one of the members here. it's been so far -- we're only a part of the way done. there are loads of pitfalls but it's been a great experience one so far and one i think gives us all a great deal of optimism. senator mccain. >> i would like to thank schumer for his leadership. i'd like to thank the democratic leader dick durbin. there's not been anyone in america who has fought harder for the so-called dreamers that -- than dick durbin has and he'll continue to be -- have the gratitude of many americans. my friend senator rubio who obviously is a new but
incredibly important voice in this whole issue of immigration reform. senator menendez is also played a key role. and of course, senator graham who is uncharacteristically absent of this gathering. it is difficult but achievable. i don't think i have to remind anyone the last major attempt was over six years ago. now we'll again attempt to commit the remaining resources needed to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current immigration system and create a tough but fair path to citizenship for those here illegally. and i would like to testify again the security situation along the southwest border is not perfect. it remains several areas, particularly in arizona where people's homes are being
invaded, where drug smugglers are crossing property every night and the citizens deserve the same level of security that all of us standing here have. but there's no question there's been a significant reduction in illegal crossings over the past five years. apprehension of illegal immigrants by the border patrol dropped 70% from 2005 to 2012. but their work is not yet complete. greater focus need to be paid to drug traffickers and criminals that cross the border. arizona continues to be a major smuggling corridor and distribution hub for drug trafficking organizations. to combat this, we need to continue to invest in high technology. uvas, radar, other proven surveillance system that is will give the border patrol the ability to detect and apprehend illegal entries in to the united states. it's achievable and can be completed within the next few years if we commit to it.
in the next most important step is we don't repeat the mistakes of 1986 where we gave amnesty to 3 million people, promised the border would be secure and now, of course, we are dealing with 11 million people here illegally. so, that has to have increased in fines on employers that knowingly hire illegal workers. we have to have employment verification system that will end the hiring of future unauthorized immigrants. we need to shut off the mag naet attracts illegal workers. we'll put in place a legal worker program to provide a humane and effective system that allows immigrant workers to enter the country without seeking the aid of human traffickers or drug cartels. any immigration legislation that passes congress must establish practical, legal channels for workers to enter the united
states whether they're high skill, low skill or agriculture workers to free up federal officials to focus on those individuals truly intending to do our nation harm through drug smuggling, people trafficking and possibly terrorism. providing the expedited path to citizenship for dreamers, developing a measurement to determine when the border is truly secure, reforming ow future immigration system to better meet the needs of our employers, ensuring an entry-exit system to combat visa overstays and creating a program that makes certain u.s. agriculture has the necessary workers to maintain america's food supply are some of the issues that we committed to addressing and solving in a bipartisan manner. finally, we come to the most controversial piece of immigration reform and that's how to deal with the approximately 11 million people living in the united states
outside of legal status. when's going on now is unacceptable. in reality, what's been created is a defacto amnesty. we have been too content for too long to allow individuals to mow our lawn, serve our food, clean our homes and even watch our children while not affording them any of the benefits that make our country so great. i think everyone agrees that it's not beneficial for our country to have these people here hidden in the shadows. let's create a system to bring them forward, allow them to settle their debt to society and fulfill the necessary requirements to become law-abiding citizens of this country. this is consistent with our country's tradition of being a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. i'd like to read senator lindsey graham's brief statement. he says, i hope the third time is a charm. i've enjoyed working with any
senate colleagues in drafting these principles and believe we're off to a good start. bipartisan immigration principles represent a real breakthrough on substance and i hope seen as a breakthrough for a political coalition to finally solve our immigration problems. the coalition must also include the president and the house of representatives. my hope is immigration reform bill will start in the senate and receive an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. we are a long way from legislative language but i believe 2013 represents us the best chance to pass immigration reform in many years. the time is right and the way forward while difficult is being better defined by the day and with the reasonable amount of political give and take we'll be successful. however, if for some reason we fail in our efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, i do believe it will be many years before anyone is willing to try and solve this problem. we should start this new attempt
hopefully with full understanding of how difficult the tax is. and finally, last couple of days we have been ability to event what was called a nuclear option in the united states senate. a lot of people don't appreciate how important it was for us to get that done. chuck schumer and i and others and dick durbin were involved a bistart san effort to avert that. we were able to do that with the co-leaders. there is a desire for bipartisanship here in this body. i think we can show the country and the world that we are capable of tackling this issue, a looming and terrible issue that has to be resolved in a bipartisan basis and i believe the majority of the american people support such an effort and i want to thank my colleagues again and the ever congenial senator schumer. >> now we'll have the even more congenial senator durbin.
>> i want to thank my colleagues. john mccain, thanks. we have been down this road before but i feel very good about our chances this time. chuck, thank you for your leadership on this. i'm sure that marco and bob and lindsey and i understand that you've been the force behind us. if he's the glue, you're the force an it's worked. we have come to this moment. and here we are facing the issue of immigration. nothing new in america. this nation of immigrants is debating the issue of immigration since the first group got off the boat and wanted to know why the second group was coming. that's been our conversation in america from the beginning. but it really is critical to remember that those immigrants whose dna we carry had something special in their make-up to get up and move, to come to this great nation for an opportunity they couldn't find in another place. that's part of what we are today and secondly, it says quite a bit about our nation, about how many people want to come here in
this free country with this opportunity for an expanding economy. they want to be here in america. but let's be honest about it. the third point is critically important. our immigration system is broken. it's been broken for a long time. 16 years ago elected to the senate, one of the first phone calls i received and i was so honored from ted kennedy and ted kennedy called this new senator and he said, i just wanted to let you know i'm chairman of the immigration subcommittee. i need you on there. we haven't looked at a serious immigration law for ten years. we'll get it done. i signed up to be part of the team but it didn't happen and another 16 years and we still have a broken immigration system. with 11 million people living in limbo. well, this statement of values we give you today is a good, solid starting point for making certain that we fix the system and that we come up with a long-term approach that's fair. it has the basics.
basics we insist on. strengthened border security with the best technology using enforcement resources for the most serious security threats. second, require employers to verify that all their employees are legal. and make sure that there's a means of verification that's quick and accurate. third, illegal immigrants already in the united states will be given their chance to earn their way to citizenship. won't be easy. it will take them some time and determination but were it not for that determination they wouldn't be here in the first place. among the requirements, of course, a criminal background check. make certain that they pay any fines that we establish. pay their taxes which is a critical part of this whole comprehensive approach and give them a chance to earn their way in to citizenship, learning english and the basics about america's history. and basically, four, making sure that the amount of illegal immigrant that is are -- the amount of legal immigration
allowed in the united states is based on the state of our economy. we are going to enshrine in here the principle coming to job openings, americans get the first grab at it. americans get the first opportunity and that's the way it should be. we're going to make certain beyond that, though, there are opportunities for others and a variety of different way it is approach it. let me close by addressing an issue near and dear and happy to have both chuck and john refer to. it's been 12 years, 12 years since i introduced the dream act. i never gave up. because when you meet these young people you just can't give up but there were some disappointing and sad times and a lot of tears shed when we were unable to pass the dream act in the past. the last time around, i met with these young people after the vote failed on the senate floor and i said to them, i'm never giving up on you. don't give up on us. that's what this is about. the dream act is going to be an integral part of comprehensive immigration reform. the dream act will give to these
young people the chance that they have been dreaming of, begging for, pleading to give an opportunity. now, these young people have shown an extraordinary amount of courage. they have stepped up and self identified to the world and met them and knew who they were this issue moving to a place where in the last presidential campaign both candidates asked their position on the dream act. it says a lot about where this issue has brought us and an integral part of bringing us to this moment in time. i look forward to happy news for the dreamers and fulfilling the dreams of so many families looking forward to a better day in america. >> well, thank you. let me join my colleagues in saying i appreciate the incredible spirit that has been displayed in these negotiations leading to these statements of principles and for what i clearly sense after someone
who's worked on this for years in the house and the senate, i'm the most optimistic i have been in quite some time an i'm not pollyanna-ish about that at all. i get the sense of a spirit and a commitment that is far beyond what i have seen in some time. and the american people support this in poll after poll. when you take the elements of our principles, they have said this is what we want to see in reform of a broken system. and there is a reason for that. if i want to secure the nation, i cannot secure the nation unless i know who is here to pursue the american dream versus who might be here to do it harm. if i have millions of peoples in the shadows without coming forth and registering with the government, i don't know what their ultimate purpose is here. so, when we talk about the nation's security, reform is necessary for security. as it is for the elements of our principles as it relates to
enhancing what we have lalready done. when i talk about the nation's economy, reform is critical to the nation's economy. the reality is that even in a very tight economy, there are all types of industries in our country which have used the work of immigrants every day to achieve the economic goals of those industries. if you got up this morning and had fruits for breakfast, it was probably picked by the bept back of aim grant worker. if you, in fact, had vegetables for a chicken for lunch you probably had it deplucked by the hands, the cut up hands of an immigrant worker. if you slept in a hotel or motel of the nation, you probably had your room done by an immigrant worker. if you are looking at some of the cutting edge technologies in our country, you probably saw the ability of making america a
more prosperous, competitive place in the world by the intellect of an immigrant worker. this is about the economy of our nation, as well. and finally, two elements of this that i think are incredibly important in all the principles which i support is the fact that we have seen in other countries in the world where there's no pathway to citizenship that there is instability. the reality is that this will be an arduous pathway but a fair one. it will be one in which those who have come to this country to achieve the american dream will come forth, must register with the government or lose their opportunities, will have to go through a criminal background check, will have to pay any previous taxes they did not pay, although many do pay through taxpayer i.d. numbers or a social security number but nonetheless they will have to pay anything they didn't pay before. they will have to for the first time in u.s. history learn
english to be able to even become a permanent resident. we require that for u.s. citizenship. we have never for permanent resident. it is a higher standard. those are some of the almosts of a more arduous path but a real opportunity at the end of the day. and lastly, as someone who's a big advocate of making sure that our economy is strong as it results to immigration reform, but also that we preserve a core value of our society and our history on immigration law which is family reunification and do that in a way that's smart and promotes legal immigration versus that has families divided for so long and then pressures them to make choices about how do they become reunified. finally, let me just say a word or two in spanish and then happy to join and answer questions when it's appropriate. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> we are listening in to senator menendez translating the remarks we heard from him a moment ago. the statement of immigration reform, senator chuck schumer says by the spring or summer he'd like to see legislation passed in the senate. he also indicated the politics on this issue of immigration reform have been turned upside down as a result of the election that we all witnessed. and all of the senators discussing key components of the immigration reform plan they would like to see. we'll discuss thoesz thise thine
move forward but the politics of this turned upside down according to chuck schumer and i think many people agree to this, this bipartisan group of lawmakers together and this is certainly on the fast track if they go as planned. we could see legislation on the table by the spring or summer. incredible events we are witnessing regarding immigration reform. "the cycle" picks up things next. just now, a bipartisan group of republicans unveiled their proposal to revamp our nation's immigration system. the deal includes a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the u.s., it prioritizes agricultural workers and immigrant coming here as children but before we start to creating permanent residents, the senators say washington must work on securing the borders and employment verification system that actually works and the